Vegetable pasanda is the perfect choice if you’re after a mild and creamy curry. Anyone who likes a korma will love a pasanda, because of its yummy creaminess and the fact that, like a korma, it’s not a spicy curry. Our vegan pasanda uses ground almonds to create a thick sauce, and is packed full of veggies to make it healthy (and tasty!).
🍛 What is pasanda?
Pasanda is a traditional dish, popular in North India and Pakistan. Pasanda was originally made with meat that's flattened into strips, before being marinated in yoghurt and spices. After a few hours marinating, the meat is then placed into a dish with the other ingredients that make up the dish.
The word ‘pasanda’ actually comes from the Urdu word ‘pasande’ which means favourite. This refers to the cut of meat that was used. Now we've got through that history lesson, let's look at how to make this vegetable pasanda!
We’ve created a vegan pasanda by replacing the meat with lots of tasty veg, and using a combination of vegan yoghurt and ground almonds to create a rich and creamy sauce.
📋 Ingredient Notes
One of the things we love about our vegetable pasanda recipe is that most of the ingredients are store cupboard favourites. You can even sub out the fresh ingredients for others pretty easily. This means that it’s a great meal to make when you’ve done no planning whatsoever, or when you want to use up whatever veg you have on hand. You will need:
- Cinnamon stick.
- Cardamom pods.
- Fresh ginger.
- Garlic cloves.
- Garam masala.
- Ground coriander.
- Chilli powder.
- Tomato pureé.
- Ground almonds, mixed with water to form a paste.
- Tin of butter beans (a.k.a. lima beans).
- Vegan yoghurt. Be sure to use a plain yoghurt rather than a sweetened or flavoured one. We really like Koko coconut yoghurt, but any kind of unsweetened plant based yoghurt is fine.
- Toasted almond flakes to serve.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
Before you get started on your vegetable pasanda, be sure to prep your veg so it’s all ready to go. Peel and slice your onion into chunks, and peel and dice your fresh ginger as finely as possible.
The butter beans will need to be drained and rinsed, and your courgettes and carrots should be chopped into nice bite-size chunks. You can leave the skin on the carrots as long as you give them a good wash.
- Add a splash of oil to a pan and bring up to a medium heat.
- Next get the onion, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods into the pan and cook until the onion is soft.
- Add the rest of your spices, along with your garlic and ginger, and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Pop the tomato purée and almond paste into the pan along with the water and give the whole lot a good stir.
- Chuck your veggies and beans into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While your veg is simmering, you can toast your almond flakes in a frying pan on a low medium heat. You won’t need any oil to do this and it will only take a couple of minutes. Be careful that you don’t let the almonds burn, watch them carefully!
- After your veggies have simmered for 10 minutes, take the pan off of the heat and stir in the yoghurt.
- Serve your vegetable pasanda topped with toasted almond flakes.
For detailed measurements and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this article.
Yes, veg pasanda freezes well and will keep in the freezer for up to three months. We’d recommend separating it into portions before freezing as this makes it much more manageable. Be sure to defrost thoroughly, and that it’s heated all the way through before serving.
Definitely. Vegetable pasanda works well with all sorts of different veggies, which is why it’s such a great zero waste recipe. Mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers would all go really well, but feel free to add whatever you like.
Butter Beans are a good source of protein, which is what makes the meal feel filling. If you want to take out the butter beans, some other good protein sources for vegan pasanda are chickpeas, black-eyed beans, tofu or tempeh.
🍚 What to serve it with
We think that vegetable pasanda is at its best when it’s served alongside as many sundries as you can lay your hands on. These are some of our favourites:
You can really make your pilau rice something special with the addition of cloves, bay leaves, turmeric and cumin seeds. You should also only use the right amount of water so that your rice has absorbed it all by the time it’s cooked. This is how you get perfectly fluffy rice.
Making vegan naan bread does take a little time and effort, but we're sure you'll absolutely think it’s worth it when you’re loading up a big chunk of naan with a generous helping of veg pasanda. Try adding garlic or coriander to give this gorgeous fluffy naan bread some extra flavour.
We love a nice big helping of mushroom bhaji on the side of any curry. Mushroom bhaji is a fairly dry dish – it’s not like an onion bhaji though, more like a small side curry! The mushrooms are cooked alongside spices, with some tomato purée and a splash of water – super quick and simple to make.
🍛 Other Recipes you may like
If you're interested in finding even more vegan Indian recipes, head to our huge list of 60+ Best Ever Vegan Indian Dishes. We're sure that you'll find even more inspiration there!
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Creamy Vegetable Pasanda
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 onion – diced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods – lightly crushed so they crack but remain whole
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger – finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1.5 tsp garam masala
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- ⅛ tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 3 tbsp ground almonds – mixed with enough water to make a thick (paste around 6 tbsp water)
- 1 cup water
- 400 g butter beans – drained and rinsed
- 2 courgettes ~450g – sliced into even pieces
- 6 carrots ~450g – sliced into even pieces
- 8 tbsp vegan yoghurt – unflavoured/unsweetened
- 4 tbsp almond flakes – you can buy toasted ones or toast them at home (as below)
- Put a splash of oil in a large pan and bring to a medium heat.1 tsp oil
- Add the onion, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, cooking until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Chuck in the rest of the spices, garlic and ginger, then cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Next add the purée, almond paste and water. Stir it all together and bring up to a simmer.
- Get the vegetables and butter beans in the pan, stir them through and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. During cooking, if it starts to look a bit dry, add a bit more water – but remember we’ll be adding yoghurt at the end, which will add more sauce!
- While the veg is simmering, it’s a great time to toast the almond flakes! Put a frying pan over a low heat (no oil) and add the almond flakes. Stir them regularly and be careful not to burn them – they turn quickly! You’re looking for a golden-brown colour. Once they’re done set aside for later.
- After the vegetables and butter beans have simmered for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and stir through the yoghurt and a good pinch of salt (to taste).
- Serve your vegetable pasanda topped with the toasted almond flakes.